New tool allows consumers to compare plans

A nonprofit group is offering a free online tool that breaks down the costs of health plans sold on By visiting, consumers can estimate their total annual costs for each plan, view a provider directory and check out a five-star scoring system of the plans, The Washington Post reported. Consumers' Checkbook, the group that developed the tool, says exchanges haven't provided consumers enough information to make a well-informed decision. "It's much too complicated for people and they end up with the wrong answers," Consumers' Checkbook President Robert Krughoff told the Post. The website, which provides a single cost for each individual, "gives consumers a fighting chance to make a good decision," said Joel Ario, a former federal official who oversaw the exchanges and now works as a consultant with Manatt Health Solutions. Article